Tue | Aug 22, 2017

Cornwall Courts residents mad at JPS over outage

Published:Tuesday | September 6, 2016 | 9:00 AMAdrian Frater

WESTERN BUREAU:

Residents of Turks Avenue in Cornwall Court, Montego Bay, are hopping mad at the Jamaica Public Service (JPS) in the aftermath of last Sunday afternoon's power surge and outage which damaged numerous electronic items, including several television sets.

"When the electricity returned after the power surge and a seven-hour outage, I discovered that my two television sets and other electronic items were not working," said hospitality worker Patrick Campbell. "I immediately called the JPS' customer service department, and I was told to make a report to the company's Montego Bay office."

Campbell said when he visited the JPS Montego Bay office the following morning, he saw several residents of Turks Avenue, who like him had suffered significant damage to electronic items during the power surge and subsequent outage.

"It was a frustrating experience ... the Montego Bay office does not have a technical department, and the customer service agents are not equipped to provide satisfactory answers," said Campbell. "Telling me write a report and provide pro forma invoices and await a response from the company's head office is not good enough ... I wanted to hear timelines."

Like Campbell, most of the residents who went to the JPS office characterised their visit as a futile exercise which added to general frustration.

"People who are stealing light have more rights than us, who are good, paying customers because they are enjoying a service that they are not paying for," remarked one irate woman, while bemoaning the damage to her two flat-screen smart televisions, her cable box, and a computer. "Right now, I have no TV and no computer. JPS has pushed me back into the Dark Ages."

 

OTHER OPTIONS

 

While admitting that he did not expect an immediate resolution, Campbell said he was at least expecting an assurance that the matter would be addressed within a particular time frame. Instead, he left feeling that he might be forced to exercise other options.

"I came hoping that they would have given us a timeline about investigating our claims and repairing or replacing our items within a specified time," said Campbell. "I cannot wait indefinitely on the JPS in this matter because it would be a great inconvenience to me and my family. Instead of just telling us that their customers come first, the JPS needs to show it."

Most affected persons are not holding out any hope of a positive response from the utility company, and as a consequence, many are thinking of replacing the items on their own.

Efforts to get an official comment from JPS on the matter proved futile, although a company official told The Gleaner that the affected residents should make the report and await a response from the company.